Friday, December 30, 2011

[#1] DBSK/HoMin - "Back To Tomorrow"

From: "TONE" (Album)
Released: September 2011, Japan
Rating: 5.00

Surprised? Nah, you know me well enough already.

I tried really hard to keep a DBSK/HoMin/JYJ song off the top spot this year, and I even thought of just revealing the top 5 songs out of order, because I know that there are people who will write me off and start raising hell if DBSK end up on top. Again. But after certain events, like hearing "TONE" in CDQ on extremely nice speakers, screw that.

Everyone has to understand that unlike other people, or even the people who raise hell at my choice, I like DBSK because of the music. My fangirling works the other way around -- I hear a song I like, I do my research, I hear more songs I like, I recognize their voices, I start learning about the members, I hear entire albums of brilliance, I pick a favorite voice, which becomes my favorite member altogether, and I begin spazzing on Twitter over their cats. For me, the music always comes first, and I'm a Cassie because of all the brilliant songs.

So if DBSK, or any part of, keep coming on top of my best of lists, it's because they really deserve it. I have explained time and time again that I KNOW DBSK aren't perfect, I know they have their flaws, I know they've had some really bad songs over the years, and before "Mirotic" they couldn't really hold a solid live performance in Korea, but the good outweighs the bad. At the end of the day they are immensely talented, they can carry themselves on stage like no other boyband in K-Pop right now, and they have some of the best material the Asian pop music industry has to offer.

"Back To Tomorrow" is one of those songs. It's epic, it's well-sung and well-arranged, and above all it's a beautiful song. I wouldn't describe it as stunning or gorgeous, because there's something lacking in those words, something inferior. Beautiful is a more apt term. Simple, but straight to the point, like the song itself.

You have all these heavy instruments, a bass line you really feel in your bones, a confident yet gorgeous string section, this very light, but firm, piano line, and despite everything happening, the song has such a strong sense of dynamics. The verses are quite packed, but them literally there's a BAM and everything explodes. And that explosion will literally reduce you into a puddle of goo because it's so beautiful.

The melody is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and Yunho and Changmin do it flawlessly, but one thing I noticed is that the melody is actually pretty tame compared to the epic instrumental. It sounds so humble and effortless. It's as if Yunho and Changmin are like "you want epic, here you go" without lifting a finger. Of course the song still has conviction, but unlike other acts, they don't have to try too hard to deliver something amazing.

With everything going on all over the place, you'd think that either the elements clash, or the melody will sound disjointed from the instrumental. They don't, and it's not. Everything gels together in the most natural way possible. Kind of like when you mix the yellow and white of an egg, and the mixture turns out yellow, but a little lighter than the original yellow. "Back To Tomorrow" is exactly like that.

To put it simply, the songwriters, and the arranger, knew exactly what they wanted, and they knew exactly what they were doing when they executed it. And Yunho and Changmin went in and executed it flawlessly, to make my favorite song of 2011.
[FULL][AUD]Tohoshinki - Back to tomorrow from manaras on Vimeo.